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The Ultimate Local’s San Francisco Bucket List: 150(ish) Epic Things to Do in San Francisco

Looking for some epic things to do in San Francisco? Be sure to check out this San Francisco bucket list for all the things you must do, see, eat, and drink in the city!

San Francisco may be small in area – it is 49 square miles (7 miles x 7 miles), but there is so much that it offers – from scenic views (especially at sunset), to delicious treats, world-class museums, hidden gems, Instagrammable locations, hip cocktail bars, and more!

There’s so much to do and see that you can spend a lifetime and still not get to it all! (But if you’re short on time, you can still do a good amount in one day).

I’ve lived in San Francisco for over 10 years now and I’ve definitely experienced my fair share of things to do, see, eat, and drink in this city – and am constantly finding more! I’ve compiled the highlights into a giant San Francisco bucket list below.

Read this epic San Francisco bucket list for your guide to all of the best experiences and things to do in the city!

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Where to Stay in San Francisco

Here are some choices for where to stay as you explore the city and tackle this San Francisco bucket list. I have personally stayed at all of these hotels and can vouch that they are all great places to stay on your San Francisco adventures

Le Meridien San Francisco: This may be your standard chain hotel, but it’s definitely got everything you need for a comfortable stay as you tackle this San Francisco bucket list. It’s centrally located and has easy access to public transportation so you can get to all the places on this San Francisco bucket list. The hotel is located in the Financial District and is catered towards business people, so rates tend to be lower on the weekends, which is a plus!

Harbor Court Hotel: This boutique hotel is located on the waterfront and offers excellent views of the bay, and is also conveniently located with easy access to public transportation. The staff here is super friendly and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that you have the best stay as you tackle your San Francisco bucket list adventures! They also have a nightly complimentary wine happy hour in the lobby, as a plus.

Yotel San Francisco: Yotel strips down the hotel experience to the essentials, and skips the rest. It is friendly on the wallet, but the rooms are still comfortable and super modern! Yotel is also centrally located on Market Street, with many places on this San Francisco bucket list within walking distance, and easy access to public transportation for the rest.

What to Pack for San Francisco

A  jacketSan Francisco tends to have some schizo weather – one minute it will be warm, and then the fog will roll and it becomes freezing cold in a matter of minutes. Dressing in layers and keeping a jacket on you at all times is a must in order to tackle this San Francisco bucket list!

A lightweight, packable jacket that you can roll it up and keep in your bag is a must for all your San Francisco bucket list adventures. Weatherproofing is also handy as drizzle is common when it’s foggy in the summer, and it gets rainy in the winter.  For the warmer months, pack a jacket like this one for women, and this one for men.

It can get chilly and rainy in the winter, so a packable down jacket is a must for your San Francisco bucket list adventures! I love this jacket for women, and this one for men.

Comfortable shoes or bootsYou will want to wear comfortable shoes to help you tick off the things on this San Francisco bucket list because let’s face it – getting up those hills is a lot of work!). Definitely get a pair of comfortable flats like these or these – they are stylish but won’t slow you down as you explore the city!

In the winter, you’ll want boots that keep you warm and dry. I wear these boots almost every day in the winter – they will help your feet stay comfy even when walking around the city all day as you cross off the things on your San Francisco bucket list, is waterproof, and will help you stay warm!

A power bank + adapter: You’ll want to stay connected to help tackle this San Francisco bucket list, and this power bank will help ensure that your phone never runs out of juice! I never leave home without mine, and it is a MUST on every single trip that I take – both in the US and internationally! If you’re from abroad, you may also need a power adapter to charge your devices – I always travel with this one.

Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated as you cross of things on your San Francisco bucket list is essential! Be nice to the environment and avoid buying plastic bottles of water – in fact, you won’t even be able to buy plastic bottles of water at the SFO airport. Be sure to carry a reusable water bottle – this is the one I carry with me at all times. I love that it is screw top but has a spot so it’s easy to take quick sips without spilling all over yourself. The great thing is that San Francisco has excellent tap water quality – our water comes from the Heth Hetchy Reservoir up in the Sierras, near Yosemite and doesn’t have that chemical aftertaste that is so common in tap water in other cities.

The Ultimate San Francisco Bucket List

1. Walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. (Presidio)

2. Snap a postcard-worthy photo of the bridge at Battery Spencer. (Conzelman Rd., Sausalito)

3. Take a hike along the Coastal Trail and Batteries to Bluffs Trail – be sure to take the turn off to head down to Marshall’s Beach to get to a hidden beach with epic bridge views! (Presidio)

4. Take a stroll down Lover’s Lane and check out Andy Goldsworthy’s Wood Line. (Presidio)

5. Have a picnic at Crissy Field. (Presidio)

6. Enjoy a unique vantage point of the bridge from Fort Point. You’ll feel like you’re underneath it. Also watch the surfers here. (Presidio | Long Ave & Marine Dr)

See also: Golden Gate Cycling and Sausalito Tour

7. Trek up the Lyon Street Steps – it’s quite the workout but you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view! (Marina | Lyon St & Broadway St)

8. Sample food from the city’s best food trucks at Off the Grid. There are a few weekly market options: every Friday night from March-October at Fort Mason (2 Marina Blvd), Thursday nights (May-September) or Sunday afternoons (April-October) in the Presidio on the Main Parade Grounds.

9. Snap some photos of the Palace of Fine Arts, and watch the swans. (Marina | 3601 Lyon St)

10. Hang out at Baker Beach (you’ll probably see some naked people). (Presidio | Lincoln Blvd & Gibson Rd)

11. Get lost at Land’s End and be sure to check out the labyrinth. (Outer Richmond | 680 Point Lobos Ave)

12. Explore the Sutro Bath remains – bonus points if you catch a sunset here, because the light is magical. It also has a mysterious, dramatic vibe in the fog as well. (Outer Richmond | 1004 Point Lobos Ave)

13. Peruse European art at the Legion of Honor. The building itself is beautiful as well. (Outer Richmond | 100 34th Ave)

14. Admire the gorgeous tile work of the Lincoln Park Steps. (Outer Richmond | 32nd Ave & California St)

15. Enjoy the view from the Cliff House. The food is pretty so-so, but it’s a great spot to sit and relax with a drink. (Outer Richmond | 1090 Point Lobos Ave)

16. Check out the view from the Camera Obscura, a giant pinhole camera. (Outer Richmond | 1096 Point Lobos Ave)

17. Have a bonfire at Ocean Beach. (Outer Sunset)

18. Pretend you’re in the Netherlands at the Dutch windmill at the edge of Golden Gate Park – bonus if it’s springtime and the tulips are in bloom! (Golden Gate Park | 1691 JFK Dr)

19. Say hi to the buffaloes that are roaming inside Golden Gate Park. (Golden Gate Park | 1237 JFK Dr)

20. Check out American art at the DeYoung museum – be sure to check out the view from the top of the tower (which is free and doesn’t require you to purchase museum admission). (Golden Gate Park | 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr)

21. Get your science on at the Academy of Science – the best time to go is on a Thursday night during Nightlife, their weekly themed 21+ event. (Golden Gate Park | 55 Music Concourse Dr)

See also: California Academy of Science Skip-the-Line Ticket

22. Have tea at the Japanese Tea Garden – the oldest in the US. (Golden Gate Park | 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr)

23. Check out the tropical flora and fauna inside the Conservatory of Flowers – this is great especially on a rainy day. (Golden Gate Park | 100 JFK Dr)

24. Row a boat around Stow Lake (perfect for a date). (Golden Gate Park | 50 Stow Lake Dr E)

25. Sample some dumplings in the Sunset District – everyone seems to have their opinion on who has the best, but my favorites are Kingdom of Dumping (Outer Sunset | 1713 Taraval St) and Dumpling Kitchen (Outer Sunset | 1935 Taraval St).

26. Eat some dry fried chicken wings at San Tung, aka crack chicken. (Inner Sunset | 1031 Irving St)

27. Sip a latte at the quaint (and tiny) Hollow – their butterscotch latte is my faveeee! (Inner Sunset 1435 Irving St)

28. Explore all the tiled steps of the Sunset – the 16th Avenue steps are the most well-known but there is also the Hidden Garden steps (Inner Sunset | 1520 16th Ave).

29. After going up the 16th Avenue steps, keep climbing up towards Grand View Park – you’ll be awarded with panoramic views of the city once you reach the top. (Inner Sunset | 1705 14th Ave)

30. Afterwards, head down and enjoy a super-Instagrammable rainbow latte (the birthday cake latte) at Home (Outer Sunset | 1222 Noriega St) / (Inner Richmond | 2018 Clement St)

31. Grab some Burmese food in the Richmond district – Burma Superstar (309 Clement St) is the most well-known and most popular, but expect a wait. If you don’t feel like waiting, Mandalay (4348 California St) is just as good. (Inner Richmond)

32. Peruse all the books at Green Apple Books. Be sure to check out the $1 books out front and the sale section – I’ve found tons of great finds there! (Inner Richmond | 506 Clement St)

33. Grab a kouign amann at B. Patisserie (or really, anything because it’s allllll delicious). (Pacific Heights | 2821 California St)

34. Take it up to Alta Plaza Park and enjoy the view (with the locals!) (Pacific Heights | Jackson St & Steiner St)

35. Shop for some kitschy Japanese items at one of the 3 remaining Japantowns in the US. (Japantown)

36. Slurp on a bowl of ramen in Japantown – there are many spots to choose from, but Marufuku (1581 Webster St #235) and Hinodeya Ramen (1737 Buchanan St) are probably the best! (Japantown)

See Also: The Best Ramen in San Francisco

37. Attend a show at the Fillmore, one of the best and most historic venues in the country. Grab an apple on the way out.  Bonus: if the show sells out, you get a free gig poster. (Western Addition | 1805 Geary St)

38. Get brunch at Brenda’s and be sure to order the crawfish beignets! (Tenderloin | 652 Polk St)

39. Eat at Pho Ha Nam Ninh – be an insider and order the 25 dry. It’s a bowl of dry pho, where the broth comes on the side, and you pour a secret (and addictive) sauce on top of your noodles instead. (Tenderloin | 701 Larkin St)

40. Admire City Hall, which boasts the fifth largest dome in the world. (Civic Center | 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl)

41. Enjoy a performance by the acclaimed SF Symphony, Ballet, or Opera(Civic Center)

42. Grab some tiki drinks at Smuggler’s Cove (known as one of the best cocktail bars in the country!). Be sure to get a puka punch but watch out – it’s strong AF (you’ll be tipsy after 1, stumbling home after 2). (Hayes Valley | 650 Gough St)

43. Go shopping at the many trendy boutiques in Hayes Valley. (Hayes Valley)

44. Enjoy a liquid nitrogen ice cream at Smitten. (Hayes Valley | 432 Octavia St)

45. Get $1 macarons during the macaron happy hour at Miette (Monday-Friday from 6pm-7pm). (Hayes Valley | 449 Octavia St)

46. Eat some delicious Greek food at Souvla – their wraps and salads are tasty, but save room for the Greek yogurt soft serve with baklava crumbles. (Hayes Valley | 517 Hayes St)

47. Get a strawberry matcha latte at Boba Guys. (Hayes Valley | 8 Octavia St #308)

48. On a nice day, get a cocktail and enjoy it on the patio at Anina. (Hayes Valley | 482 Hayes St)

49. Also on a nice day, grab a beer at Biergarten, the city’s only outdoor beer garden. (Hayes Valley | 424 Octavia St)

50. Eat schnitzel and wash it down with a das boot of German beer at Suppenkuche. (Hayes Valley | 525 Laguna St)

51. Sample some artisanal chocolates at Christopher Elbow, which come in unique flavors such as rosemary caramel and strawberry balsamic. On a chilly day, also sip on a cup of their Venezuelan spice drinking chocolate! (Hayes Valley | 401 Hayes St)

52. Roller skate inside an old church at Church of 8 Wheels. (Hayes Valley | 554 Fillmore St)

53. Admire the Painted Ladies from Alamo Square, aka “the Full House houses” (NOPA | Steiner St & Hayes St)

54. Enjoy fancy toast and coffee at The Mill. (NOPA | 736 Divisadero St)

55. Eat a meal at NOPA! Be sure to try their custard French toast if you come for brunch. They are also open until 1am if you want to stop in for a late night meal. (NOPA | 560 Divisadero St)

56. Feast on allll the meat at 4505 Meats, the closest thing the city has to Texan BBQ. (NOPA | 705 Divisadero St)

57. Hang out with the hippies and go vintage shopping in Haight-Ashbury. (Haight-Ashbury)

58. Stop by the Grateful Dead house. (Haight-Ashbury | 710 Ashbury St)

59. Feast on some Cuban tapas and sangria at Cha Cha Cha. (Haight-Ashbury | 1801 Haight St)

60. Appreciate the art of the cocktail at Alembic. Be sure to check out their Girl Scout cookie pairings when it’s cookie season. (Haight-Ashbury | 1725 Haight St)

61. Peruse the records at Amoeba Records, the world’s largest independent record store. Also be sure to check out one of their free shows! (Haight-Ashbury | 1855 Haight St)

See Also: Haight-Ashbury: Summer of Love Walking Tour

62. Get yelled at by the bartenders at Toronado – but you’ll have yourself a really, really awesome pint of craft beer. (Lower Haight | 547 Haight St)

63. Trek up to Twin Peaks and enjoy a 360 degree view of the city. Take a photo of one of the most Instagrammable views of the city from Christmas Tree Road. (Twin Peaks | 501 Twin Peaks Blvd)

64. Enjoy a movie singalong at the historic Castro Theater. (Castro | 429 Castro St)

65. Get lost in the fog on a mystical hike through Mount Sutro. (Inner Sunset)

66. Pretend you’re in Paris while brunching at Le Marais Bakery. Order a breakfast board and be sure to select a croissant as one of your items! (Castro | 498 Sanchez St) / (Marina | 2066 Chestnut St) / (Tendernob | 1138 Sutter St)

67. Get a scoop of the salted caramel ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery. (Mission | 3692 18th St)

68. Hang out at Dolores Park – where all the locals flock to on a sunny day. Be sure a rum-filled coconut from the coconut man who makes his round around the park! (Mission | Dolores St & 19th St)

69. Wait in line for a morning bun at Tartine Bakery. Be sure to come back after 4pm for a loaf of their fresh-baked bread, straight out of the oven. For a sit-down brunch, you can also head to the Tartine Manufactory. (Mission | 600 Guerrero St / 595 Alabama St)

70. Sample single-origin, bean-to-bar chocolates and at Dandelion Chocolates. You must also get yourself a s’more here! (Mission | 2600 16th St / 740 Valencia St)

71. Check out the street art at Clarion Alley. (Mission | Between 17th & 18th Streets and Mission & Valencia Streets)

Also See: Food and Street Art of the Mission

72. Browse the boutiques on Valencia Street. (Mission)

73. Eat lunch and sip on some matcha at Stonemill Matcha – order the katsu sandwich or the ochazuke.  (Mission | 561 Valencia St)

74. Get a Mission burrito and decide who has the city’s best – El Farolito (Mission | 2779 Mission St / 2950 24th St) or La Taqueria (Mission | 2889 Mission St).

75. Grab some cheap, authentic, and delicious Pakistani food at Pakwan. (Mission | 3182 16th St)

76. Take in the view over some drinks at El Techo. You’ll get a great view of the skyline on a clear day! (Mission | 2516 Mission St)

77. Enjoy a romantic dinner and a movie at Foreign Cinema (try their fried chicken)…or come for brunch (their champagne omelette is to die for). (Mission | 2534 Mission St)

78. Check out the current theme at Trick Dog. The bar reinvents itself every 6 months, coming up with a completely different theme and menu. The cocktails here are some of the best in the city! (Mission | 3010 20th St)

79. Enjoy drip coffee at Philz Coffee – the original location on 24th and South Van Ness in the Mission. Get a Tesora, Philz way – or, get a mint mojito on a warm day. (Mission | 3101 24th St)

80. Eat unique Thai dishes in a lively atmosphere. at Farmhouse Thai. Bonus if you celebrate a birthday there, where you get serenaded by the staff parading through the restaurant, banging on some drums and cymbals. (Mission | 710 Florida St)

81. Browse some ceramics and check out the studio space at Heath Ceramics. (Mission | 2900 18th St)

82. Get a scoop of the Secret Breakfast ice cream at Humphry Slocombe – even better when it’s part of a float! (Mission | 2790a Harrison St)

83. Hike up to the top of Bernal Heights Park to enjoy one of the city’s best views – be sure to also sit on the swing! (Bernal Heights | 10 Bernal Heights Blvd)

84. Attend a show at Bottom of the Hill, where many popular rock and alternative bands have played before they got big. (Potrero Hill | 1233 17th St)

85. Take a tour (and sample beer) of America’s first craft brewery at Anchor Brewing(Potrero Hill | 1705 Mariposa St)

86. Have one of the city’s best brunches at Plow – their lemon ricotta pancakes and breakfast potatoes are amazingggg. (Potrero Hill | 1299 18th St)

87. Grab some street food at Spark Social SF – also check out their happy hour and special events. (Mission Bay | 601 Mission Bay Blvd)

88. Attend a Giant’s game at Oracle Park and sample all the food. (Mission Bay | 24 Willie Mays Plaza)

89. Sip on artisanal coffee in an industrial space at Sightglass Coffee. (SOMA | 270 7th St)

90. Eat some creative pastries at Vive le Tarte, like a Tacro – a cross between a croissant and a taco. (SOMA | 1160 Howard St)

91. Spend an afternoon perusing the modern art at SFMOMA. Also dine at In Situ, a concept restaurant that is a collaboration between the city’s celebrity chef Cory Lee and international culinary superstars. (SOMA | 151 3rd St)

92. Stop in at the weekend happy hour at Press Club – 50% off $70+ bottles of wine! (SOMA | 20 Yerba Buena Ln)

93. Get a cocktail at one of the city’s best rooftop bars at Charmaine’s – it’s the closest thing we have to a NYC rooftop bar. (Civic Center | 1100 Market St)

94. Go shopping at Union Square – during the holidays, be sure to check out the giant Christmas tree and go ice skating. (Union Square | 333 Post St) 

See also: Christmas in San Francisco: An Insider Guide to the Most Fun & Festive Happenings

95. Find out the password to Bourbon & Branch to enjoy a handcrafted cocktail, one of the most famous speakeasies in America. (Tendernob | 501 Jones St)

96. Slurp on one of the city’s best bowls of ramen at Mensho – order the tori paitan or the vegan tan tan men. (Tendernob | 672 Geary St)

97. Grab a burger and milkshake at Super Duper, SF’s answer to Shake Shack. (7 locations in SF)

98. Grab a coffee at Blue Bottle, one of the purveyors of the artisanal coffee movement. While you can find them all over the world these days, it all started here at the Mint Plaza location. (SOMA | 66 Mint St)

99. Get a cruffin (be sure to get in line early! – but if you miss it, any of their pastries are delicious) at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and take a photo with the neon sign. (Tendernob | 1042 Larkin St)

100. Enjoy a tiki drink at the Tonga Room inside the Fairmont Hotel – be sure to stop by when there is live music, and watch the rainfall in the middle of the bar. (Nob Hill | 950 Mason St)

101. Meditate inside a labyrinth at the Grace Cathedral – or do some yoga.  (Nob Hill | 1100 California St)

102. Sip on a fancy drink while enjoying the epic city views at the Top of the Mark. (Nob Hill | 999 California St)

103. Explore out the biggest Chinatown outside of Asia, and eat all the things while learning about the history of the neighborhood on a Chinatown walking food tour. (Chinatown)

104. Stop into Li Po Lounge, which has kind of a dark, divey vibe…but their mai tais are strong AF and cheap! (Chinatown | 916 Grant Ave)

105. Grab some egg tarts at Golden Gate Bakery (if you catch them on a day they’re open). (Chinatown | 1029 Grant Ave) 

106. Tour the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory – did you know that fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco? (Chinatown | 56 Ross Alley)

107. Browse the world’s largest collection of banned books at City Lights Bookstore. (North Beach | 261 Columbus Ave)

108. Grab a pizza at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, home of 13-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani. (North Beach | 1570 Stockton St)

109. Enjoy a classic Italian meal at Original Joe’s, which has been in SF for over 80 years. Be sure to get a side of ravioli with your entree, and save room for some butter cake for dessert. (North Beach | 601 Union St)

110. Get some fresh-baked focaccia bread at Liguria Bakery, which has been family-owned for over 100 years. Be sure to get there early before they sell out! (North Beach | 1700 Stockton St)

111. Grab drinks at 15 Romolo, a bar hidden inside a tiny little alley in North Beach. (North Beach | 15 Romolo Pl)

112. Enjoy a comedy show at Cobb’s, where many of comedy’s biggest names will make you laugh. (North Beach | 915 Columbus Ave)

113. Get dessert at Stella Pastry & Cafe – their tiramisu and cannolis are to die for, and be sure to get some cookies to go! (North Beach | 446 Columbus Ave)

114. Work off all that food by climbing up the Filbert Street Steps and then enjoy the view from the top of Coit Tower. (North Beach | 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd)

115. Walk up the giant hills to get to Ina Coolbrith park, and be rewarded by one of the best views in San Francisco of the city’s skyline and bay (you can also take an Uber there and skip all the hills, but that’s kinda part of the experience). (North Beach | Vallejo & Taylor Streets)

See also: North Beach and Little Italy Food Tour

116. Fulfill your donut craving at all times of the day at the 24 hour Bob’s Donuts and Pastries. Get a donut that’s as big as your face (which you’ll get for free if you finish it in under 2 minutes)…or an apple fritter. (Russian Hill | 1621 Polk St)

117. Have some of the city’s best seafood at the Swan Oyster Depot – be prepared to wait in line to grab one of the 18 seats inside. (Russian Hill | 1517 Polk St)

118. Eat prime rib at House of Prime Rib, one of the city’s most classic restaurants. Order the King Henry cut. (Russian Hill | 1906 Van Ness Ave)

119. Walk (or drive) down Lombard Street, the “crookedest street in the world.” (Russian Hill | Lombard St between Leavenworth and Hyde)

120. Say hi to the sea lions at Pier 39. (Fisherman’s Wharf)

121. Get clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl at Boudin Bakery and see how the bread is made (it’s touristy AF but still kinda cool). (Fisherman’s Wharf | 160 Jefferson St)

122. Get a hot fudge sundae at Ghirardelli’s (also touristy AF but I still have to admit that thing is super delicious). (Fisherman’s Wharf | 900 North Point St Suite 52)

123. Go to Alcatraz, the prison island where the country’s most dangerous criminals were incarcerated.  (Fisherman’s Wharf | Pier 33)

124. Go hiking on Angel Island, and learn more about the history of Chinese immigrants at the immigration station. (Fisherman’s Wharf | Pier 39)

125. Grab an Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe. (Fisherman’s Wharf | 2765 Hyde St)

126. Check out the eclectic collection of antique coin-operated games at Musee Mecanique. (Fisherman’s Wharf | Pier 45)

127. Hang off the side of one of the last remaining manually operated cable cars in the world. You can hop on at the turnaround near Union Square on Powell Street or near Fisherman’s Wharf on Taylor Street; or on any stop on the route. You can also take the California line (far less crowded with some epic views of the city’s hill), which starts on Market and California Streets.

Also check out: Alcatraz, Chinatown Food Tour, and Cable Cars

128. Ride the historic F streetcar, which runs along the Embarcadero from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Ferry Building, then down Market Street to Castro.

129. Sample all the offerings from the merchants at the Ferry Building Marketplace. If you are there on a Saturday, be sure to check out the farmer’s market (and wait in line for the porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti). (Embarcadero | One Ferry Building)

130. Watch the Bay Bridge Lights twinkle against the evening sky. The best time to see them is in those minutes right after the sun has set because you can see the lights sparkle as the sky transforms. (Embarcadero)

131. Enjoy the views of the city from Treasure Island, a man-made island in the middle of the bay. Also peruse the local goods at TreasureFest, the once-a-month flea market. (Treasure Island)

132. “Run” Bay to Breakers – or just get in costume (or just be naked) and walk only part of the route while taking part in the revelry. (May)

133. Hang out in the park while listening to music at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a free 3-day music festival in Golden Gate Park featuring  popular bluegrass and mainstream artists. (October)

134. Take a sunset cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge – it gives you a unique perspective of the city’s iconic landmark!

135. Get lost amongst some tall redwoods at Muir Woods. Heads up: advanced reservations are now required, so plan ahead!

Also check out: Muir Woods Tour from San Francisco

136. Go wine tasting in Napa Valley – have a picnic at V. Sattui and taste wine inside a castle at Castello di Amorosa. Make a stop at Bouchon Bakery for treats and get fried chicken at the Ad Hoc Addendum (open Thurs-Sat). If you feel like splurging, you can try for a coveted a reservation at French Laundry.

137. Taste even more wine in Sonoma County – check out California’s oldest winery at the Buena Vista, explore Jack London State Historic Park, and have lunch at the Girl and the Fig. If you are in town in March, check out the barrel tasting weekends, during which you can taste unlimited samplings of participating wineries’ newest soon-to-be-bottled wines.

Also check out: Napa & Sonoma Valley Wine Tour from San Francisco

138. Enjoy jaw-dropping coastal views in Big Sur. Also check out a waterfall that falls directly into the ocean at McWay Falls

139. Explore the seaside towns of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium, drive the 17-mile Drive, and have lunch in the charming Carmel downtown (Le Bicyclette is a favorite).

See Also: Monterey and Carmel Day Tour with Aquarium

140. Check out the coastal views of Pacifica – hike Mori Point, and stop by the world’s nicest Taco Bell (no, seriously – and it was even recently remodeled and updated to Cantina status – so you can eat some Chalupas while sipping on an alcoholic slushie while taking in those views).

141. Spend an afternoon in the quaint, charming beach town of Half Moon Bay. Stop for lunch at Sam’s Chowder House and order a lobster roll.

142. Check out the laid-back beaches of Santa Cruz, hang out at the boardwalk (be sure to ride the Big Dipper), and admire the colorful houses of Capitola.

143. Do some coastal hikes in Point Reyes, walk through a cypress tunnel, explore a shipwreck, and check out the iconic lighthouse.

144. Eat (and shuck your own) oysters and go kayaking in Tomales Bay.

145. Go to the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Also check out their up-and-coming foodie and craft beer scene!

146. Explore the granite cliffs and majestic waterfalls at Yosemite National Park, one of the country’s most popular national parks. The best way to accomplish this in a day trip is to take a guided tour.

147. Take a ferry across the bay to Sausalito, and explore this charming little seaside town. Check out the houseboats, eat lunch at Scoma’s, and grab a scoop of ice cream at Lappert’s.

148. Get lost in nature in the Marin Headlands. Check out the views from Hawk Hill, explore the Point Bonita Lighthouse, and spend some time at Rodeo Beach.

You might also like:
The Best Views of the Golden Gate Bridge
120+ Free Things to Do in San Francisco
40 Amazing San Francisco Hidden Gems
What to Do With One Day in SF
Best San Francisco Views
18 Amazing Sunset Spots in Francisco
50 Most Instagrammable Places in San Francisco
Best Ramen in San Francisco
Los Angeles Bucket List
Orange County Bucket List

What are some of the things on your San Francisco bucket list?


Saturday 15th of February 2020

Man, I wish I had this list on our most recent trip to San Fran. We had visited previously and hit most of the tourist stuff then so this list would have given us a more in-depth experience our second time around. Thanks for all of the insider tips :)

Katie Diederichs

Saturday 15th of February 2020

What an EPIC list! I love SF and am saving this article for the next time I visit. You are a wealth of knowledge on San Fran! Oh and that "birthday cake latte" looks magical! I hope it tasted as good as it looks!


Saturday 15th of February 2020

Love this list! I live just south of the city and have been telling myself I need to get back in and explore now. Will be working my way through this list!


Saturday 15th of February 2020

Hi Caroline, what a comprehensive article. I´ve been to San Francisco recently and scrolled through your blog already. ;) Will save your article as it definitely hasn´t been my last travel to San Francisco. Best, Stefanie


Saturday 15th of February 2020

Wow that's a comprehensive list! I've done a few things on this list clearly I have a long ways to go. I'm particularly interested in checking out the Church of 8 Wheels - that sounds super fun ☺️

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